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Maldives Military

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) is the combined security organisation responsible for defending the security and sovereignty of the Maldives, having the primary task of being responsible for attending to all internal and external security needs of the Maldives, including the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the maintenance of peace and security.

The combined branches are:

• Coast Guard;
• Marine Corps;
• Special Forces.

The MNDF functions directly under the command, direction and guidance of the Minister of Defence and National Security.

The inception of the service was by a royal prerogative, but today it is by an act of the parliament and as stipulated in the Maldives Constitution, the sovereign head of the country assumes the office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

As a water-bound nation much of the security concerns lie at sea. Almost 90% of the country is covered by sea and the remaining 10% land is scattered over an area of 415 km (258 mi) x 120 km (75 mi), with the largest island being not more than 8 sq km (3 sq mi). Therefore the duties assigned to the MNDF of maintaining surveillance over Maldives' waters and providing protection against foreign intruders poaching in the EEZ and territorial waters, are immense tasks from both logistical and economic view points. Hence, for carrying out these functions, it is the Coast Guard that plays a vital role. To provide timely security its patrol boats are stationed at various MNDF Regional Headquarters.

Coast Guard is also assigned to respond to the maritime distress calls and to conduct search and rescue operations in a timely manner. Maritime pollution control exercises are conducted regularly on an annual basis for familiarisation and handling of such hazardous situations.

Coast Guards also undertake armed sea transport of troops and military equipment around the country.


Military branches
Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF): Marine Corps, Security Protection Group, Coast Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 158,307
females age 16-49: 97,166 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 137,181
females age 16-49: 83,837 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 4,369
female: 3,765 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures
5.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

Military - note
the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), with its small size and with little serviceable equipment, is inadequate to prevent external aggression and is primarily tasked to reinforce the Maldives Police Service (MPS) and ensure security in the exclusive economic zone (2008)





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